BUT DOES A FISHFINDER REALLY FIND FISH? Does a woodchuck really chuck wood? Sorry jackwagon, I had to go there. A fishfinder works on the same theory as deep space telescopes identifying distant stars. It doesn't see "fish" but it does see things that don't look like water. Once the data is processed, the resulting image is therefore labeled fish. Therefore, these units absolutely process the data and tell you if fish are in the beam. But alas, they don't know what they're eating, or if they're even in the mood to eat. But, I do believe that fish will almost always eat if given the right offering. But, you have to find them first.
NO INSTALLATION REQUIRED: That got your attention, didn't it? If you're on a budget, and don't want any sort of permanent installation mods to your boat, the Humminbird Smartcast series may be your answer. You simply cast the green transducer to the spot where you want to investigate, and the signal comes back to the wrist module (RF30) or the traditional display model (RF15). This series doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but for my kind of fishing/paddlecraft, it may be a great solution.

Transducers: Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.


These units are battery operated and the signal is transmitted back to the receiver. So, don't expect a lot of range or HD resolution. But, if you simply want to know how deep the water is ahead of you so that you can make better choices, this is it. For me, I would need to cast it with a rod/reel loaded with heavy braid. The areas I'd likely cast to would hopefully hold big snook and in the spring they love this color. I don't want the "dog ate my homework" story to become the "snook ate my transducer" story.

Raymarine’s DragonFly 4 PRO with Navionics Plus Mapping offers Dual-Channel Sonar with CHIRP DownView enabling easy identification of fish and underwater structure with photo-like images. Reaching depths of 600ft with CHIRP DownVision and 900ft with CHIRP Sonar the DragonFly 4 includes a built in GPS receiver and provides accurate coastal navigation data all on a 4.3” Color Display.
Here’s a useful tip for judging the width / thickness of a sonar return: switch on the vertical flasher (also know as a-scope) on your fish finder if it has one (to do this on the Deeper App, go to Settings > Sonar > Vertical Flasher). The vertical flasher on the right side of your screen will show you exactly what’s under your sonar at this exact moment. You can use it for vertical jigging, and of course forice fishingtoo. For judging fish size, look at both the thickness and width of the returns on your vertical flasher. A larger fish will give both a wider and a thicker return.
Raymarine has a few units that come with a built in GPS. The Dragonfly 4Pro, Dragonfly 5Pro, and Dragonfly 7Pro all have built in GPS. Pay close attention to the unit you are buying, because if you are looking for built in GPS the standard Dragonfly 4 and Dragonfly 5DVS do not have that feature built in. You absolutely have to go Pro to make sure you get the GPS you’re looking for.
Setting your tip-up baits at the proper depth requires a little work. Then every time you catch a fish or check your bait, you need to reset them. If you’ve got a few nickel-size buttons, those resets become no chore at all. Start by running your main line through one hole in the button and out another. This should allow you to move the button up and down the line easily, but provide enough tension to stop it from sliding on its own. Next, attach your egg sinker, barrel swivel, leader, and hook to the line. Once your depth is set, simply slide the button down to the water’s surface, and then reel the button up to the tip-up’s line guide. Now every time you reset your line after catching a fish or changing bait, wind the spool until the button is at the tip-up guide. Your bait will be set in the same place within the water column every time.
Do you prefer having more detailed and high-contrast visuals on your fishfinder? Color LCD options from Academy Sports + Outdoors can ensure you don't miss a single catch. With higher-quality screens, you can zoom into specific sections of the water and even target specific fish. With additional sensors, our collection of marine GPS can track the movement of fish in real time, allowing you to trail and snag them before they swim away. Academy also carries portable fishfinders as well as castable fishfinders which are great for kayak, surf or bank fishing.

BUT DOES A FISHFINDER REALLY FIND FISH? Does a woodchuck really chuck wood? Sorry jackwagon, I had to go there. A fishfinder works on the same theory as deep space telescopes identifying distant stars. It doesn't see "fish" but it does see things that don't look like water. Once the data is processed, the resulting image is therefore labeled fish. Therefore, these units absolutely process the data and tell you if fish are in the beam. But alas, they don't know what they're eating, or if they're even in the mood to eat. But, I do believe that fish will almost always eat if given the right offering. But, you have to find them first.


The use of the hook in angling is descended, historically, from what would today be called a "gorge". The word "gorge", in this context, comes from an archaic word meaning "throat". Gorges were used by ancient peoples to capture fish. A gorge was a long, thin piece of bone or stone attached by its midpoint to a thin line. The gorge would be fixed with a bait so that it would rest parallel to the lay of the line. When a fish swallowed the bait, a tug on the line caused the gorge to orient itself at right angles to the line, thereby sticking in the fish's gullet.
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